Letters to the Editor

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SOUND TRANSIT: Keep shuttle for Sounder riders

Letter by Michael Litt, Steilacoom on May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm | 3 Comments »
May 17, 2011 11:19 am

When Sound Transit opened the new Lakewood Station two years ago, it encouraged South Sound riders from Pierce and Thurston counties to use the facilities and the Sounder commuter rail by providing a shuttle to and from the Lakewood Station to the current Sounder Station at Freighthouse Square until the Sounder was completed to Lakewood in 2012. That way we’d already be a guaranteed ridership.

Well now, at least a year before Sounder service comes to Lakewood, Sound Transit has decided to discontinue the shuttle connecting Lakewood to the Sounder Station because of “lack of ridership.”

In fact, ridership increased 11 percent in the first 18 months of service, and the recent switch from full-size buses to shuttle buses has filled the buses to capacity on many of the runs between Tacoma and Lakewood.

I thought Sound Transit wanted to encourage mass transit and greener commutes and support for the taxes we pay.

A response from Sound Transit indicated that declining revenue was the reason to eliminate this critical connection with low ridership. The agency offered an alternate connection negotiated with Thurston County’s Intercity Transit that only connects with two of the five northbound morning Sounder runs at 6 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. and two of the six arrivals in the evening at 6:39 p.m. and 7:14 p.m., leaving Lakewood riders without a way to or from Tacoma Sounder for most of the schedule.

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